Sex differences in integrated science achievement at Bece in Cape Coast Metropolis
Science allows students to explore their world and discover new things, hence, it is an important part of the foundation for education for all children. The purpose of the study was to determine differences in performance of boys and girls in Integrated Science at Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). The study intended to find out if significant differences exist in the performance of boys and girls in Integrated Science and further investigated if gender has any effect on students’ achievement in the subject. Comparative and relational designs were employed for the study. The study was conducted in some selected Junior High Schools (JHS) in Cape Coast Metropolis. The accessible population was a set of mixed public JHS in the OLA circuit. In all, three JHS were selected from the schools in the circuit using the simple random sampling technique. The BECE results in Integrated Science for the past five years (2013-2017) were used. Independent samples t-test and chi square were used to analyze the data. The trend in performance seemed to favour the boys more than the girls. The study discovered statistically significant difference in the performance of boys and girls, with boys performing better than girls. Moreover, it was found out that gender has no significant effect on students’ performance. The findings suggest that the level of achievement in science is not gender-dependent. It is therefore proposed that, assessment techniques and pedagogical practices that improve girls’ knowledge, attitude and participation in science should be employed by teachers.
Key words: Integrated Science; achievement in science; gender differences; BECE; pedagogical practices